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Sunday, February 28, 2016


Why diets don’t actually work, according to a researcher who has studied them for decades

For centuries, men and women have worked tirelessly to fit the physical molds of their time. Diets, which have ranged from the straightforward to the colorful and kind of silly, have produced a wide range of results -- and all sorts of followings.
Not long ago, the Atkins diet villainized carbohydrates and convinced millions to avoid starches of any kind. Today, the Paleo diet, which purports to emulate the eating habits and digestive systems of ancient humans who lived for many fewer years than people on average do today, is perhaps the most popular — or at least talked about — dietary fad. Soon there will be another fad that sweeps the dieting conversation. And another one.
People are too uptight about their weight; people are handling that uptightness in a foolish way that doesn't work (that would be dieting); and the reason diets don't work is not what people think.
It all starts with something that suddenly struck me a while back, and that's that nobody has willpower. Everyone is blaming dieters for regaining weight they lose, and that's just wrong — it's not their fault they regain weight, and it's not about willpower, or any lack thereof.
Dieting is actually a lot like starving, physically. It's living like you're starving. A lot of people do it, but what they're actually doing is living as if they're starving. They're putting their body into that exact same state that it would be in if they were literally starving to death.
But there's an entire industry that profits from convincing people that just the opposite is true. How do you reconcile that?
Well, the first thing is that you can't believe anything that they say. And that's by definition, because their job isn't to tell you the truth — it's to make money. And they're allowed to lie.

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